At this time our thoughts are with all our members and friends who are struggling with health issues, caring responsibilities, isolation, work insecurity and financial hardship. We are grateful to all those who are trying to keep services going and minimise the impact of the virus on our lives.
ACERT EC has had no alternative but to postpone the Networking Conference scheduled to take place in Manchester on the 26th June. The Friends Meeting House has had to close and even if it reopens before the scheduled date, we won’t have time to organise the event.
We hope that our annual conference and AGM will go ahead in October in London and we plan to hold the networking conference in Spring 2021 in Manchester.
The EC has been holding meetings over ZOOM since before it became fashionable, so we are geared up to continue our discussions. Last month, we consulted with other organisations and individuals about our plans to develop a parents network, and we will continue to develop those ideas so we are ready to hit the ground running when the restrictions are lifted.
A peer-led research project by the Traveller Movement, with the support of ACERT and Southwark Traveller Action Group. found that many Gypsy and Traveller pupils experience high levels of racist bullying in school which in turn is hampering their educational attainment, leading many to leave school early without any formal qualifications.
The research was sponsored by the Mayor of London’s Citizen Led Engagement programme. Over a six month period, eleven peer researchers conducted forty-four qualitative interviews with young Travellers in London aged 15-25. The young people discussed school experiences, being bullied, their reasons for leaving school early, family support and what changes were needed to make school life better for Gypsy and Traveller young people.